A tenuous grip on reality

I think I must be genetically wired for PTSD or something. Since surgery – or more particularly since coming home from the hospital – I’ve been kept awake at night by flashbacks of stuff that happened in the hospital. It’s not fun, and makes me think my grip on reality is more tenuous than I thought.

I’m keen to talk to my therapist – and she sensed this when I spoke to her briefly yesterday – but I can’t right now. In part because I have no privacy at my parents’ house (and there’s certainly no room for getting upset here), and in part because I’m too afraid to let this loose and lose my grip even further.

I want to talk about what’s happening in my head and why. Why is this stuff – MORE stuff – following me around like this?

But I can’t talk about this now. So I’m hanging on. I’m not taking the proper pain killers because I’m too afraid they’ll tip me over the edge. I couldn’t deal with that. Not while at my parents’ place and not when I have no escape.

I know that going home would be the logical thing to do. Trouble is I can’t drive at the moment, so am relying on my mother to take me home. Tomorrow? No, because “the traffic will be too heavy” (ugh!)  Hopefully the next day.

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7 thoughts on “A tenuous grip on reality

  1. I’m so sorry Kerro. I can’t even imagine staying with my mother after surgery… … Oh wait, I did try that – it didn’t work. I stayed in my bedroom, fixed my own meals (the ones I felt like eating), and never bothered her but she told my whole family that she felt like my maid because I was so demanding and that she had to pick up constantly after me. I stayed only for 4 days. I hope you get home soon and can talk to your T. My best to you…

  2. (((K))) I hope you are able to go home soon and/or that an opportunity to speak with your T without interruption presents itself. Can you meditate or listen to calming music to combat some of the anxiety you are feeling? I see in myself how anxiety tends to feed on itself, and once I can find a way to “break into” the cycle, it helps. I know it isn’t all that simple, by any means, but maybe some self-soothing might take the edge off? Keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. @ Ivory – I’m so sorry your mother did that to you. To my mother’s credit, she’s not that bad. Or at least she gets her fill of martyrdom from looking after my father. (((Hugs))) to you.

    @ Tamp and Sanity – thank you. It’s weird because the anxiety isn’t really that bad most of the day … unless I’m in the shower or trying to go to sleep. Thanks for the suggestions – they’re all good ones that have worked for me before.

  4. Hey honey —

    Don’t worry too much about the flashbacks. For people with any type of dissociation, it’s an extremely common side effect of general anesthetic, and it usually lasts several days. It is usually very intrusive as the brain tries to shut off for sleep — it’s like you have unprocessed memories of what happened while you were “out.” It will get better, though pain meds such as Vicodin or other opioids can prolong it. You’re not crazy, and it’s not just you — this is really common, I promise. People who are in DID therapy tend to be warned/prepared for it by therapists prior to surgery, but I think the warning is sometimes overlooked by therapists who work with clients who have PTSD.

  5. David, thank you so much. I’m so glad this isn’t just me. I was feeling crazy. I have been avoiding the opioids in case they tipped me over, so I knew it wasn’t that. I wasn’t warned, but my theraspist sees the need for me to see her quickly and has thankfully responded.

  6. Pingback: Flasbacks post-surgery « Kerro’s Korner

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